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OneDrive has few security features, but enough to protect files in the cloud for average users. If you store sensitive information in the cloud, you must take certain steps to back up the OneDrive files in the event of a data breach. This article describes the possibilities of saving files on OneDrive and whether encryption is possible.
OneDrive file encryption and backup
The default methods for securing files on OneDrive are as follows :
- Password protection
- Decision sharing
- Encryption during synchronization
Password protection is nothing other than the usual login process. You can add another level of security to the process by enabling two-factor authentication for OneDrive. Once you enable two-factor authentication for Hotmail or Outlook, it applies to your entire Microsoft account and you must go through it to use any of the Microsoft services, including Xbox, etc. For applications that require external authentication (such as retrieving email from the Microsoft Outlook desktop), you must create a key that you can use with such applications.
Sharing options are the default permissions you use to share files with different people. You have three choices: Just me, people with a link and publicity. Files with the Public Share option can be viewed by anyone. Files that are shared via a link can be viewed by people who have a link to that file. A password is not required. I am the only one who is explicit: no one else can see the downloaded files. By default, the sharing options are set to Just me for files in folders other than shared documents and photos.
Note that when you download a file through the OneDrive application, there is no guarantee that the default option is’Just me’ because I came across statements where people say these files are shared with friends. It is best to carefully check the sharing options after downloading the file from a tablet or even from your smartphone. When you upload a file to a folder with the’Public’ setting, its contents take over from the sharing setting and can be visible to anyone who trips over the file. I repeat that you check the sharing settings after downloading the file(s).
OneDrive indicates that its applications use 256-bit encryption when synchronizing files. This means that when you upload a file to OneDrive, a secure connection is established. However, there is no encryption after the files are downloaded and there is a reason. We will discuss this when we examine the feasibility of OneDrive encryption later in this article.
OneDrive file encryption for security reasons
There are many third-party programs for encrypting entire hard drives or on a file-to-file basis. The windowsbulletin.com has a list of the best free file encryption software . You can use these programs to encrypt all OneDrive folders on your local computer so that they are encrypted when you download – or you can encrypt only those that contain sensitive information. You can also use standard Windows BitLocker or NTFS encryption to encrypt files.
Feasibility of encrypting files on OneDrive
But is this type of encryption really feasible?
If you upload files to OneDrive for your own use, encryption will give you an advantage – although it can slow down the process of opening and saving files because it has to decrypt them before opening them. But if you intend to share it with others, is it still possible? Look at the next section.
As mentioned above, when using OneDrive as a remote control. Storage only for yourself, encryption is ok. But if you want to use OneDrive for collaboration, it will be difficult for others to find a program that can decrypt files correctly. Suppose you encrypt a folder with TrueCrypt before downloading it. Others may also install TrueCrypt because it is free. But will it really help them to work together?
Decrypting files is also difficult and takes too long. And it is not necessary that the other party can always decode them. As far as I know, the encryption key is not stored with the file information. If not, how will the other party decrypt the collaboration file or something like that?
In such cases, the whole purpose of OneDrive has failed because even if you can share the files, the other person cannot simply access them or the other person may not be able to access them at all.
Files on OneDrive are therefore not encrypted by the company. If you encrypt them, do so for your own use. If you want to use OneDrive for real-time collaboration and file sharing, encryption is a big enough barrier to be abandoned by others.
Read : Tips for backing up your OneDrive account.
These are my own opinions. I don’t know if there is a solution to share encrypted files with the encryption key, or how easy it would be. If you have any ideas, please let us know.
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